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I think every bride, every groom and every parent can agree that we all want to save money when it comes to planning a wedding. Every person wants to cut corners as much as possible...but the question is; where exactly can you cut corners and save? I have written down nine tips to help us as we figure out this process.

1. Hire a wedding planner. Say what?? Yes. You read right. I know this sounds crazy, pay someone to save money? Absolutely. I cannot count how many times I have seen brides overspend greatly just because they don't know what they need they don't know how to capitalize on what they have. Most brides have several ideas, Liking different styles and wanting to have several different themes for their wedding. Often they don't know what to choose and they find themselves buying, buying and buying more.

Wedding planners have the expertise and know where you should to purchase your wedding decorations, supplies etc. some wedding planners even have decorative items that they could loan you or that come included with packages (like,,,Elena Events). Wedding planners know good vendors and have years of experience working with budget brides. We are not shy about negotiating and haggling with vendors to get you the best deal. We are also aware of the work it takes, the money it takes and can help you navigate the crazy world of decor and planning to make sure you get the most for your money and you know what you need and what you don't need. You might find that hiring a wedding planner will save you from buying too much stuff, being cheated and take a load of stress off of this entire process. Now that is something you can't buy. Enjoying your wedding day is priceless and trusting someone to take care of things is also priceless.

2. Prioritize. This is something I always ask my brides about. I ask, 'what is most important to you about your wedding?'

So what is most important to you about your wedding? Is it the ambiance, the decor, good photography, creative video, the food? Is it the band? Is it making sure that everything goes smoothly and you don't have to stress? (If that's the case, you ) So many brides spend a lot of money on things that are not really important to them and their wedding budget runs out quickly. It's very important for every bride to take the time and think about what really matters to them. So prioritizing your budget is key. It's important that you invest in the things that matter because truly, after everything is said and done you are going to look back and remember what was important to you. It's important to eliminate regrets and you can do this by prioritizing the things that matter to you most.

3. Be smart about your venue. Go with a venue that looks beautiful where you don't have to do so much work to make it pretty. Often those decorative pieces cost a lot more money than a bride anticipates. For example, it's easy to look at something and just say yeah, we can add some Christmas lights, maybe some fabric and drape it, a few chandeliers, easy. However, when you're purchasing fabric it's $15/yard and you need 35 yards of fabric to accomplish what you were wanting and 20 packs of Christmas lights. This is a very vague example, but to make a point that there are so many expenses that you don't anticipate when you're just looking at things in that way. When it comes to decor, there are many things that are easy and inexpensive in theory but can add up very quickly. If you don't have a clear vision and direction I would encourage my brides to go with a prettier venue where you you might spend a little more but you're going to save on the overall budget and decor. If you go with a venue that requires a great deal of work it will not only cost you money but it will cost you so much time and energy.

4. Ask your friends for help. If you have a friend who has skills in a certain area, see if they'll help. Ask people who've already gotten married if you could borrow some of their decorations. If you have crafty friends maybe you can do a girls night and surround yourselves with great music, finger foods and champagne and take that night and create your wedding favors and other craft projects. If you have a friend who has a knack for organization, maybe you can put a timeline together and ask her to be the wedding coordinator or if someone has a knack for decorations maybe they can help. Also, ask friends if they know someone who knows someone that you can get a great deal for their services. If you don't have these options I would highly suggest finding a wedding planner who can become a helpful ally and get you things you need and help you with the things that you find stressful.

5. Date is very important. Off-season, non-Saturday both of these will help you with the cost of venue. Prices tend to be a little lower during off-season. If you're getting married on a Friday or a Sunday you could also negotiate a little bit better with the venue to try to bring the price down. This is very important if you're wanting to save. Don't be afraid to look at different venues and compare pricing Also see what's included within that price and compare. Feel free to go to your desired venue and show them the pricing of another venue and see if they would match it for you! Most venues would rather be booked at a slightly cheaper rate than not booked at all. If this overwhelms you, hire a wedding planner.

6. Be smart with floral seasons. When choosing your flowers make sure that you're in the right season, it will be cheaper and it will help a great deal with the cost of your wedding. For example, I remember ordering hydrangeas in November, during that time the price was very high you're looking at 6–7 dollars per hydrangea. Also consider flowers that are large in size so that they would take up more space and you would need to order less. Be creative with your floral decisions. Also, if you create bouquets using the stems instead of having yourself or florist use the typical floral foam, it takes up more space which means, you use less flowers! Consider using branches and greenery from your yard? Or if you grow flowers, use your own. Anything can help cut cost.

7. Keep your alcohol simple. Beer and wine is just fine.

No need to spend all that money on alcohol and let's be honest, it gets expensive quick. You could have a cash bar and for-go buying any alcohol or just do a champagne toast. There is nothing that is necessary or required so put your money where it's most important to you. People often assume that they are required to provide a ton of alcohol and have an unlimited bar, not necessarily. If this is not important to you, I would strongly advise not investing it in because it gets expensive quickly. Do what's best for you. Nowadays there are no formulas for the right protocol. If it is important, offer a signature cocktail and beer and wine to your guests. Whatever you choose is totally fine.

8. DIY. Doing it yourself is not always the cheaper option. Sometimes it's easier just to purchase something instead of doing it yourself. Of course, another option is to hire a wedding planner and they can help you sort out what things are worth doing yourself and what things we should purchase, order online or hire out. Often we can look at Pinterest on the Internet and find all these projects that seems so simple but when you get down to it, it takes a lot of time and often doesn't turn out as we plan. If you are not a crafty, artistic, creative type of person this is can prove to be a challenge and you may find yourself feeling frustrated, exhausted and spending a lot of money. More and more brides are realizing that most projects or not worth doing it yourself and perhaps more worth hiring someone, purchasing the product or only doing things that are easy, quick and mess up proof. Before you decide to DIY, measure if its worth it.

9. Rethink your cake. Many brides are now asking for no cakes or just a small one tiered or two tiered cake and other desserts. Some are even doing fake layers only having the top as the real layer so they can 'cut the cake' and serving sheet cake in the back to their guests. There are several options to cut the cost of a wedding cake. You can do a donut cake, cookies or pie's. Having family members bring a pie or a cookie tray is definitely an option and something I am seeing more of. This is a great way to have a variety of desserts and cut on cost. Choosing your cake option will definitely go back to prioritizing. If it's important for you to have a beautiful cake, get a beautiful cake. If not, consider a cheaper option!

10. Guest list. I know everyone and their mother wants to come to your wedding, but make sure that you are inviting people who genuinely care about you. People who are going to be honored to be there who are going to support you and your husband. Cutting you guest list could mean no kids – let's face it, every plate counts. Make sure you really get onto people about RSVPs- better yet, reach out to them via Facebook and other social media outlets or email and texting instead of spend money on stamps and additional RSVP envelopes. It's OK to be a stickler about the guest list, every person counts. Quite literally. Even BRIDESMAIDS!

What? Yes, bridesmaids. If you think about it- you're purchasing their bouquets, thank you gifts, possibly make-up and hair so Choose bridesmaids wisely. Choose bridesmaids that are going to help you the most, hence the word BRIDE'S- MAIDS... They are there to help you. Choose friends that you can rely on, girlfriends that are going to be there to support you. You want your friends to be with you during this incredible process and be the ones that are high maintenance, particular and make things more stressful than they already are. Being a bridesmaid is a privilege, and choose the girls in your life who understand that. The ones who are reliable, trustworthy and that will celebrate this special process with you.

Closing thoughts: It's important that you set a reasonable budget for your wedding. You can't expect elaborate flowers on a small budget. You can't have extremely high expectations and not know where to put your money. And I think it's OK to compromise. When you're on a budget and you're trying to save money compromise is a must. Because the reality is that you won't be able to get everything you want unless you're willing to cover the cost. Blessed are the flexible if bent they won't break. This is something that I often live by and it helps me throughout every decision process and throughout life in general. Being flexible will help you during this process. Having said all that, don't compromise too much. Make sure that you prioritize and know what's most important to you and don't compromise on that. You only get married once, at least you're supposed to ( :)) so make it the day of your dreams. You don't want to look back with regret and wish that you had done something or paid the extra couple hundred dollars to make that dream a reality. When everything is said and done all you have is memories and if you compromise on what's important, that will always be in your memories. 'I wish I had..."

We don't want that. I hope these tips are helpful to each one of you during this process. Happy planning! Love & Bliss


Photography: w4 Photography, Fesiuk Films Pinterest

Editing Elena Huggins

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